In a significant deal for King World, WCBS-TV in New York has licensed the syndicator’s new fall 1993 magazine strip “American Journal” under a multitier deal.

Sources said that “Journal,” the first companion to “Inside Edition” since the short-lived “Instant Recall” in the 1990-91 season, could play as an early news lead-in or lead-out in the nation’s largest TV market.

Package as pair

The CBS O&O currently carries “Edition” at 4 p.m., followed by Paramount’s “Hard Copy.” In access, Carsey-Werner Distribution’s “You Bet Your Life” at 7 p.m. serves as the lead-in for Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight.”

Although neither WCBS nor the distrib would comment yesterday on the clearance deal, market competitors suggested that WCBS may consider pairing the two KW shows in the 4-5 p.m. early fringe block and the twoParamount shows in access next fall.

That is, unless “Life” makes a tremendous comeback in New York. The comedy gameshow averaged a last-place 4.9 rating/9 share in Nielsen during the first half of the October sweeps, with “E.T.” rising to a 6.9/11 at 7:30 p.m.

A year ago, “Hard Copy” averaged an 8.3/14 at 7 p.m. and “E.T.” pulled a healthy 10.4/17 in its access slot.

The competition, however, was not as great at 7:30 in October ’91, when “E.T.” battled “Ruckus” and “Now It Can Be Told,” both of which were subsequently canceled.

WCBS is also hurting in early fringe, with “Inside Edition” averaging a last-place 2.4/7 at 4 and “Hard Copy” capturing a skimpy 3.6/9 at 4:30.

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